FREEHOLD – A Long Branch man was convicted Friday in the shooting death of 47-year-old Hector C. Mejia on July 16, 2017.
Jeffrey Williams, 30, was convicted of first-degree felony murder, second-degree reckless manslaughter, second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon. He was acquitted of first-degree armed robbery.
The four-week trial was held before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Vincent N. Falcetano.
Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 7. Williams faces up to 20 years for felony murder and 10 years for each second-degree charge.
Mejia was found bleeding from a gunshot wound near the front door of his Liberty Street home in Long Branch on July 16, 2017. Local police and medical personnel responded to the 9-1-1 call around 11:41 p.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:56 p.m.
Williams was arrested on July 20. An investigation revealed that Williams and several others were at the corner of Central Avenue and Liberty Street when they saw Mejia asleep on the front porch of 111-2 Liberty St. One of the men attempted to take property from Mejia, who awoke and “reacted to their presence,” the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office reported.
It was then that Williams pulled out a handgun and shot Mejia. Mejia’s estranged wife came home 20 minutes later and found him shot. She called 9-1-1.
She told authorities her husband had come over to drop off money for her and their children.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Christopher J. Decker, Director of the Office’s Major Crimes Bureau and Assistant Prosecutor Nicole Wallace.
Williams was represented by Carlos Diaz-Cobo, Esq. of New Brunswick and James Greenberg, Esq. of Freehold.